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SEND Students build and decorate bird boxes for local park

Students from City of Westminster College were joined by Cllr Melvyn Caplan, Cllr Lorraine Dean, and Cllr Matthew Green

Students from City of Westminster College were joined by Cllr Melvyn Caplan, Cllr Lorraine Dean, and Cllr Matthew Green

Published: 7 July 2021

Students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) at City of Westminster College have assembled and decorated bespoke bird boxes in Little Venice, as part of a new project supported by Continental Landscapes and Westminster City Council.

The project aims to give young adults with disabilities the opportunity to gain valuable work experience in horticulture through the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme.

Continental Landscapes, Westminster City Council’s landscape contractors, purchased the bird boxes for students to construct and decorate. It is hoped that the bird boxes will attract birds such as sparrows and robins to the gardens, helping wildlife to flourish in the local area.

The new bird boxes have recently been installed at St Mary’s Churchyard, which is next to the Paddington Green campus of City of Westminster College. Students were joined by local councillors at an event to celebrate the installation.

Councillor Melvyn Caplan, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for City Management, said:

I’m pleased that Westminster City Council is working in partnership with Continental Landscapes to deliver this project, which will not only be hugely beneficial to local wildlife but will also equip SEND students with essential skills and work experience. The students can be immensely proud of the work they’ve achieved here and the contribution they have made to the local community.

Steve Mills, Managing Director of Continental Landscapes, said:

We were very pleased to be involved in such a worthwhile project. The students gained valuable skills in assembling the bird boxes and Paddington Green gained bird boxes which will attract birds to this lovely park.

Gemma McCarthy, Curriculum Manager LDD at City of Westminster College, said:

The Supported Learning Department based at the Maida Vale Campus of City of Westminster College is delighted to, once again, collaborate with Continental Landscapes. This project offered students the opportunity not only to contribute towards their local community, but to complete the volunteering section of their Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Something that is even more impressive considering it was partly completed during lockdown. We are excited to work together to develop future projects. We would like to thank Continental Landscape and are looking forward to working together in the future to provide our supported learning students with meaningful work-based opportunities.